Amanda Palmer Crowdsourcing Controversy Continues
Steve Albini Joins Critics Railing Against Singer's Search for Volunteer Musicians
Steve Albini has taken to his message board on Electric Audio to rant against Amanda Palmer's methods of asking musicians to donate time and talent on her tour, where they receive beer and hugs in lieu of compensation.
"Pretty much everybody on earth has a threshold for how much to indulge an idiot who doesn't know how to conduct herself, and I think Ms Palmer has found her audience's threshold," Albini wrote on his website. He later clarified: "I don't think Amanda Palmer is an idiot, and it was rude and sloppy of me to make that impression," but added, "Fuck's sake a million dollars is a shitload of money. How can you possibly not have a bunch laying around after people just gave you a million dollars?"
The million dollars he's referring to is the Kickstarter campaign Palmer launched to raise money to record her last album, Theater Is Evil. The campaign eventually raised $1.2 million for the record's production.
Palmer took to her blog to respond to critics, saying. "YOU HAVE TO LET ARTISTS MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS ABOUT HOW THEY SHARE THEIR TALENT AND TIME." She argues that the people who show up to play for free are genuinely excited and pleased to be involved, so it shouldn't matter to the other musicians who would not be happy to play for free.
She adds, "anyone is allowed to crowdfund a record. And anyone is allowed to crowdsource a musician. Or a pair of socks. Or a place to crash. Or a meal. Anyone."
Recently, Palmer told The New York Times that paying enough musicians to fill all the parts for a whole tour would cost around $35,000.
The battle of words hasn't quite ceded yet—Palmer is still fending off critics and reTweeting supporters on her Twitter account. But she's been paying musicians in beer and hugs for the better part of year now, and fans don't seem to be having too much of a problem with that.
Be sure to check out Palmer in our Protest Issue, on newsstands now.